Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi)

Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi)

Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi)

Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi)

RAM (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi)– The ram is probably the second most popular cichlid in the aquarium industry after the angelfish. Their small size, peaceful disposition, and easy availability make thrm a welcome addition to many community aquariums. The lovely wild form has been hybridized throughout the decades so there are many color and body forms on the market. The German blue, German gold, and long fin varieties have been around for at least fifty years. The newer “neon blue” and the “neon blue platinum yellow heads” are attractively colored but barely recognizable as rams. And then there are the recent abominations such as the one pictured here, the “gold long fin balloon” that actually give me stress to look at. Extreme variations in color are a fact of life in the aquarium hobby, but in the case of yhe beautiful ram it is hard to justify as a happy naturally colored ram is one of the most beautiful fish we can raise. And keeping your ram happy is not a difficult task. All they really want is clean water, the correct substrate, good food, and a sense of security. If provided with those few basics, it is likely the will eventually reward you with a cloud of youngsters. Watching a pair of rams tend to their fry is one of the most beautiful experiences this hobby has to offer. While rams are suitable for beginners, they are not usually suited for new tanks. They are sensitive to fluctuations in water chemistry. They also cannot live in water with a high pH and prefer the pH levels kept below neutral. A 20 gallon, 75 liter, tank is large enough to house a pair and some peaceful tankmates. Their preferred tankmates are tetras as the presence of these small fish usually is a signal of safety. Do not keep them with other cichlids. Plecos are likely to eat their eggs at night so they are not recommended if you hope to breed them.
Origin: Venezuela and Columbia (the Bolivian ram is a different species to be covered later)
Size: to 7cm, 2.75″, but aquarium varieties are generally smaller than the wild type
Temperature: 26-30°C / 78-86°F
Food: Accepts any small, sinking food. To bring out the best coloration, feed a variety of foods with glakes only being fed a few times per week.
Habitat: Although it is often ignored, substrate is important to the health of your rams. Their genus is mikrogeophagus and, like the full-sized Geophagus, rams want to spend their days sifting through the substrate for food. For that reason, fine sand is the best substratd to use. You can decorate their tank with anything you want as long as there is a lot of cover for when they are feeling shy, and plenty of surfaces for them to use as potential spawning sites.
Breeding: Eggs layers with both parents working to raise the babies. They will lay eggs on any surface includung flat stones, leaves, wood, or the aquarium walls. New parents often eat their eggs, but eventually get the hang of parenting. Some of the extreme hybrids are not as good parents, conistently eating the eggs or only fertilizing a portion of them before losing interest. You may want to separate those eggs from such parents if you want to raise them. Ram eggss are very susceptible to fungus so ensure the water stays clean.

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3 thoughts on “Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi)

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